It’s a fact that most people make New Year’s resolutions with the best of intentions – that is, to keep them. Unfortunately, most people don’t keep up with their resolutions. Case in point: I meant to post this the first week of January, not the first week of February.

A key tip is to keep your resolutions reasonable and if you fail, fail forward. This means to keep trying, which is why I am posting this. I am choosing to fail forward!

If you have several resolutions which haven’t been successful so far, I suggest you start with one and keep at it until you have success. Then, layer in another.

There is no rule that you have to start a resolution at the beginning of the year. You can start whenever you are ready – and you can try, try, and try again until you have success!

Here are a couple of resolutions that I think are great to incorporate and help restore health:

1. Sleep 8 hours a night. Sounds simple enough, but most people don’t get 8 hours of sleep, and many don’t think they need it. I’ve always needed a lot of sleep. Schedule yourself to be in bed 8.5 to 9 hours before you need to be up. Turn the TV and electronic devices off (DVR that show you love and watch it later without commercials. It’s great), and read or meditate to relax. You will be amazed at how good you feel with a full night’s sleep. It’s the reward I give myself nightly!

2. Drink enough water during the day. Water is literally your life source and you need to drink enough each day. How much is enough? Try to drink half of your body weight in ounces of water. Add lemon or any other fruit or herb for a nice refreshing splash. You’ll notice an increase in energy! You’ll look better too. Drink quality water too. I use a filter which energizes my water and swear by it. Here is a link to my webpage: http://healwithdana.com/resources/the-wellness-enterprise

3. Exercise daily – or almost daily. When my oncologist sat me down and told me how important daily exercise was, I wasn’t sure I could keep this goal. I wasn’t sure I could go from 3 days a week, to 6 or 7 days a week. But with some planning and effort, it can be easy.

Your workout doesn’t have to be big and extensive every day of the week. I mix it up all of the time. Sometimes I hit the gym. Sometimes I pop in a DVD, and sometimes I use an AP on my iPad. I walk/jog at least 2 miles 3 days a week. The walk/jog takes about ½ an hour and I do it where convenient. Sometimes it’s in the gym and sometimes I pick a fun route and see what’s new. Sometimes it is to the neighborhood grocery store for a few items. Jogging and walking can even be done while traveling. Most cities have fun areas made for this sort of exercise. If that doesn’t work, take the stairs, park the furthest away from the door at work. Be creative.

I do something fun with my family on the weekends. Right now, we are enjoying the ski slopes. I have also shoveled a lot of snow from the sidewalk in front of the house. That counts! In the summer, we ride bikes, golf (and walk the course), coach little league and kayak. This is fun exercise. I stretch daily.

This is the only time in my life I have been able to touch my toes! I downloaded a couple of yoga aps and follow those for about 20 minutes. This helps me feel good and the APs were free! I even include house cleaning as an exercise. We have 3 levels and it takes a while to do all 3 levels. I work up a sweat so it counts!

The bottom line is that a body in motion stays in motion! Try to do something daily – even 20 minutes helps.

4. Cut down on sugar. I know, ugh! But sugar is really so toxic to the body – and for me, it’s a cancer feeder so I was motivated to cut down. Start simple, like swapping pop or soda for that water! This will help you get enough water. If you need the caffeine and some flavor, consider iced tea as a starter replacement for soda. Or, you can stop eating processed foods altogether. I promise you will feel better, have more stable energy, less mood fluctuations, sleep better, and have less cravings!

And, please, don’t substitute artificial sweeteners. NutraSweet and Splenda are much sweeter than sugar. When you take in these products, your pancreas is fooled into thinking you have ingested a large amount of sugar which may eventually lead to an exaggerated insulin response. That’s not good. It messes with your body’s ability to regulate blood sugar. Other research also suggests these sweeteners alter the bacteria in the gut – also not good!

5. Try to eat healthy – at least one thing at each meal. It’s not always easy to eat right, but you can have at least one or two healthy items – a fruit and a vegetable with every meal.  Don’t just add the healthy stuff, swap it in and take out the unhealthy food.  I keep organic apples, tangerines, carrots and celery ready to go in the fridge.

When I started eating differently, it didn’t happen overnight. I took it in baby steps. If we had pizza, I made sure I also ate a fruit or vegetable like a salad with the pizza on the side. I ordered thin crust and light cheese, with veggies on top. Now, I don’t eat pizza, but I do have the salad! The idea is to give it a start and grow from there. If you mess up, there is always tomorrow to get back on track! It’s a process, not a race.

I hope these tips help. You’ve seen them before, but if just one of you is motivated to start, then writing this has been worth it. Here’s to your health in 2016!